Sunday, July 2, 2017

Wine Cellars of Marqest: A foray to the Wizard's Tower....

Session date: 3/2017
This session served as an introduction to Old School style play for a 5e only player and as Two Player session.

PLAYER #1: Our seasoned veteran (Sal) was Cthoo the "Sinewy Barbarian" & his cohort "Sweet Lou" the Cleric of Cthulhu.

PLAYER #2: New player (Tahlia) rolled up her PC with 3d6 in order, chose Thief as Class and named her Quinn Cedar aka "Red Arrow".

The Dog-n-bone
Times had been tough lately in village Marqest. Cthoo had lost all his gold carousing and found himself and "Sweet" Lou in debt to the Innkeeper at the Dog-n-bone. Being the Bouncer wasn't too bad and Cthoo got to crack some unruly heads together every couple of nights or so. This night was different though, something about it made the sinewy Barbarian itch with anticipation. The crowd wasn't especially unruly or anything, and the chance of a flash fire was nothing to worry about for Lustmort was nowhere to be seen, then the front door swung open....

Art by Tahlia
 Life in the forest had become too complicated, well really it had become boring. The "Red Arrow" needed to become known beyond the county border. Everyone had been talking about the Marqest dungeons, and that this was the place to go where you either made it to the Big Time, or died horribly and forgotten in some dank corner of the underworld. Scanning the common room for some likely cohorts Arrow pretended not to notice the the strapping barbarian with the balding head waving vigorously in her direction, and why the hell is there a flaming green skeleton just standing off by itself in the corner of this place!? Moving quickly to a table, she ordered a mug of ale and turned her back on the obviously buffoonish lout and came face to face with ....
The recruiting Agent
Cthoo couldn't believe it, was it her? Quinn Cedar, his formerly betrothed from birth best friend ever!! The way she strode in to the place, the aura of confidence, the way she seemed to not notice him waving and locking eyes! Yes, it had to be...of all the taverns in all the lands; the "Red Arrow" had walked in to the Dog-n-bone. The fates had smiled on Cthoo, his indentured servitude was surely at an end this very night for she was now talking with the Agent. The barbarian knew what he needed to do.

The Agent slid onto the chair like a snake entering a rabbit burrow. "So I ah see you're new in town, and an accomplished adventurer by your gear. However my stalwart friend, no one goes to Castle Marqest without a proper Dungeon party, and that is what; for a modest fee; I can get for you."

Arrow pulled her hood a touch forward to properly shadow her eyes, "Keep talking." she said while thinking to herself. "He didn't see me, he didn't see me, please by all the GODS he didn't see me."

So for a mere five gold coins I can, by morning have at least six and no more than eight viable applicants all willing and able to join your expedition to the famed Cellars of Marqest. You can interview them, work out terms or turn them away at no additional cost to you. So ah, what do you say?

Cthoo saw the coin slip into the Agents hand. Yup, Cedar was doing it. She was going to be interviewing applicants for an expedition, an expedition that both he and "Sweet" Lou needed to be a part of. The trick was going to be getting close enough to win his way back into her graces. Well honestly, she should be apologizing to him, after all he was the one left standing alone on that spring day.... Cthoo began to form a plan.

 Quinn noticed that the barbarian had left the tavern, "He DIDN"T see me!" she sighed in relief. Moving about the room she attempted to get some local rumors and information from the patrons in the bar. After about an hour she began to realize that either nobody here had ever actually been to the damned place or they were messing with her. She decided to retire to her room and see who the Agent had lined up for her in the morning.

After breakfast Quinn sat in a corner booth as the recruiting agent presented her choices of hirelings. The archer had to admit she was impressed, a half dozen applicants was more than she thought a first time expedition leader would garner. "All right, whose first?" the young adventurer smiled and looked over her prospects.
Zagothoth "Cthoo" the Sinewy Barbarian.
In the middle of the interviews Cthoo forced his way into line incapaciting an applicant and convinced Quinn that they should team-up! It was only logical, he argued because he and Sweet-Lou had both survived a prior foray to the cellars and could impart valuable information. Quinn was finally overcome with Cthoo's use of "Glistening Gams" and agreed to let him co-captain the expedition. Together they looked over the applicants and decided on the following:

Passed over - Tooms, Man-at-arms, he was KO'ed by Cthoo.....
Turned away - Dar the Emerite. says he speaks with animals and his man-purse squeeked.
Turned away - Scar the Man-at-arms, Quinn had a bad vibe from him
Paid to not go - Mereza the girl-child torch bearer. Quinn paid her gold to NOT put her life in danger.
Otus, Man-at-arms with a vendetta against Orcs. Hand axe & dagger.
Halla, Tribal Amazon, necklace of teeth, fierce warrior. Spear & dagger.
Jon the Wanderer, Man-at-arms, scroll of cure wounds. Hand axe & dagger.

"Sweet" Lou, Cleric of Kuhthool
So Quinn, Cthoo, and "Sweet Lou" along with their hirelings head out for the ruins of Marqest.
Cthoo steers Quinn away from the shattered remains of the Brother's Tower, saying the Glorious Bastards +4 were responsible for the Demon Portal that now hangs open in the air, and it was best avoided as too many deaths occurred there. However, the Wizard's Tower was ripe for plunder if they could just get inside. Quinn compromised and pointed out exploring the main keep may lead to a way into the tower. Cthoo agreed and the group headed across the courtyard towards the keep.

Then the goat appeared...some 20 yards away.

Cthoo instantly began battering at the keep doors to get inside. "It's just a goat." said Quinn.
Sweet Lou paced nervously, as the hirelings became anxious not really knowing why. "That's what we thought last time!" grunted Cthoo as he forced the door open enough for the party to squeeze through one at a time. "Go now! Quick as you can!" urged the Barbarian. Quinn looked back and the goat was much closer than before. "How did it move that fast?" thought the Archer, as Cthoo pushed her through the doorway. Inside the gloomy foyer the Barbarian pulled the door shut just as the goats muzzle tried to poke in after them! "Not this time bastard!" cried Cthoo as the door closed with a deep boom.

The group headed for the stairs that would lead them up to the second story balcony, upon finding them just around the corner and down the hall, it was Quinn who noticed something odd about the wall. A secret door was discovered and soon opened leading into a long disused passage covered in cobwebs. By Cthoo's reckoning, this passage seemed to run inside the battlement wall and should he hoped be a secret way into the Wizard Tower!!

The passage seemed to be a way for guards to quickly traverse the keep without being seen, as there were ladders that led up to hatches that opened on the battlements above. Checking one out Cthoo was proven correct and they were headed towards the Wizard Tower, hopefully the passage wouldn't be just a dead end. Cthoo was greatly pleased when the following sight greeted them at the end of the passage.
Glowing dimly with magical energies, the portal beckoned them towards it. "I knew it!" exclaimed Cthoo, "We will be the first. Truly this is a secret way into the tower. Are these not arcane runes upon the door itself?" The barbarian stepped closer.
"How do we open it?" whispered Quinn.

Cthoo and Jon attempt to open the door using a prybar and Jon gets nearly fried by magical lightning. The Barbarian gets frustrated and unleashes all his might physically upon the doorway and breaks it down much to the surprise of everyone!!!!

The party entered the room beyond the Wizard portal and ended up engaging in a running battle with a horde of guardians empowered by foul sorcery! The group was forced to retreat back into the passage and up onto the battlements. Halla the Amazon had her arm severed in a critical blow and died from blood loss, Jon was lost and ended up pitching off the battlements, but not before Sweet Lou could procure his scroll. Cthoo and Otus made a final rush against the guardians and Quinn thought for sure he was going to be killed.
Techno-sorcery powered guardians 
After listening to the sounds of fierce battle from below, it got strangely quiet. Quinn and Lou stood upon the battlement looking down into the tunnel for some sign of life. A loud "Frazzpow!" startled the pair, and that was followed by the sound of metal on metal. A few minutes later a very battered Cthoo climbed up from below. He related that Otus had been killed, and the doorway resealed by the Guardians. This was what Cthoo saw kill Otus.....
What killed Otus
The party limped back to town and caroused. Quinn ended up in jail after being recognized as a wanted criminal, and Sweet Lou has been polymorphed by a witch until Cthoo can bargain for his release.

Thanks to James V. west for the Sinewy Barbarian Class, without which Cthoo would not have been as COOL as he is!!! check out the link below:

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